tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 3, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm PDT
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national convention here in charlotte, north carolina. the stage is set for the democrats to try to urge voters to re-elect president obama. we will be here throughout the convention and bring you interviews inside and the highlights of the speeches and events. north carolina is one of a handful of swing states who could decide this election. president obama won here back in 2008 by about 14,000 votes. i want to get right to this. four years ago, it was a message of hope and change that helped president obama win the white house and four years later, democrats are dealing with the sluggish economy and the lingering effects and the great recession and all of these things, and what do they need to do in charlotte? we want to bring in ron brownstein, a politicalage cyst to talk about all of this. and you get to rnc and the dnc and four years ago -- >> yes, a real tour of america. >> this is an important question, because it does not even seem quite yet that they
are clear on the message, right. we heard from the maryland governor o'malley earlier today, and he said, no, we are not better off than we were four years ago, but he says that is because president bush dealt us this hand that was just too much. you know, to say yes, definitively to that statement. what does the president need to do or say? >> well, in many way, there is more clarity in the negative message of the democrat thans the positive one. they have worked very assiduously to identify mitt romney and turning the business sense as a liability instead of an asset, and the missing piece throughout all of this is the clearer sense what the president would do in the second term. he says he prevented disaster and falling into a depression, but nobody would say they are satisfied with the economic growth since then even if we avoided the worst and the biggest hole that has to be filled this week is to give the voters a better sense of what he
would do to make another four years to make their lives better. and the latest poll is showing that romney tikd up sliktly and this was a virtual dead heat, and he has ticked up sliktly four poi -- slightly for four points ahead, and he was able to grab this bible belt state by president obama, and now it is in flux and how is that playing out? >> well, it is intriguing, because north carolina is one of the half of a dozen of the states in the sun belt which had voted republican in previous 9 of 10 re-elections before obama won it in 2008. he was able to flip it whether it is the same reasons of virginia and kcolorado and nevaa and in the west, but siit is improving the white collar liberals, but this is the one closest to the bubble.
45% of the vote is white evangelical crihristians and a tough audience for the democrats. this is a state if he had any retrogression of the numbers it would be hard for him to hold. this is a tough place for him to win, but he doesn't have to win it. as you get deeper into the list, colorado and nevada, they are tougher states that he needs. >> and that is what james carville said, it is not spin, but it is true? >> true. and what is within the first 270 electoral college votes for ooet side, and by the time president obama has won the other states and passed the 270 mark, and this is the 300-range for the electoral college votes, but the same facer tors hurting him here are challenging in other places that are important to him for example colorado. what you have is a further decline among the blue collar white voters who are a tough audience and moving further away from him than they did in '08 and the challenge of mobilizing that big minority turnout so important for him to win the
state last time. >> one thing i noticed when i went to the event last night which is gay activists and the president's message on same-sex marriage in support of it is really a very hot issue in this state, and there are some evangelicals and democrats who say this could cost him some really important voting blocs in the state that he took a big chance there. >> he did. >> and how risky was that move when you take a look at some of the states that he turned four years ago, and he is the turning off. >> well, i look at it as a piece with several other things that he has done. doing the dream act a administratively on illegal immigration and confronting the catholic church over contraception and the gay marriage, and there are so many decisions that take the risk of alienating blue collar and rural whites in mobilizing what is the new democratic coalition of young people, and minorities and socially liberal white collar whites and with gay marriage, that makes something like a state of north carolina tougher. 61% in may voted for a state
ballot referendum to ban gay marriage, but obama on across these issues one after another has been willing to take the risk of further alienating the voters to mobilize and consolidate what is emerging as the 21st century coalition and allowing a state like north carolina or colorado or virginia that were reliably democratic to come back into play, and it is the alliance of the liberal voters and the upper scale whites and he is playing with the coalition and taking the risk to further alienate the voters cooler towards him. >> and let e's talk about the optics, because in denver, you had the grecian columns and of course a lot of symbolism about it, but this is a convention and event that is it is estimated to cost more than $53 million and we are talking about of course, private fund-raising on behalf of the party and also some federal funds for security that are automatically set aside for these kinds of events, but would
this have been a bet ter opportunity for the better time to say, look, let's not spend all of this money on this big three-day extravaganza and we know who the nominee is going to be? >> well shgs s, it is an intere question, because first of all if you look at how polarized the electorate is and how little movement we see coming out of the polls of the conventions and you have to wonder about the return on investment from the parties and the amount of money and the impact that it has and 16 million people not watching fox watched mitt romney's acceptance speech, and for all of that cost and effort that is what you ultimately get? i think that, look, if you are the broader point is that the president has to have a different tone, and there is nothing that is hard to imagine that there is anything triumphant about the acceptance speech this time. he is going to talk about hard fought progress, and argue we are moving in the right direction and we cannot turn back, but the missing piece as i said, is that even the voters willing to concede that what he did prevented the worst, the
bottom from dropping out, but few are satisfied with the pace of enomic growth and certainly the income growth, and the biggest challenge for him still i convince people if you give me another turn, i will do better and that is the missing piece. >> okay. thank you, ron. have a burger. >> okay. thank you. >> good to see you, ron. we want the talk about one of the topics of conversation brewing at the convention, gay rights marriage, and the gay rights activists celebrated at parties for democratic officials and journalists, and one was called the unity event and you are seeing it here. we went there and talked to several people, but i also got a chance to talk to one republican who is now considering voting for obama because of his sup pot for same-sex marriage. you identify as republican, but obama has extended, you know, a hand in terms of the same-sex marriage, so how do you square the two? >> that's a tough question.
i love obama for that, and, you know, it is actually i mean, one of those that might be a deal-breaker, so i may just go ahead and switch to be a democrat. >> one love. we love each other and because two women love each other or two men love each other and a man and a woman love each other, it shouldn't matter. we are all love. we expect several speakers at the convention to support the president's stance on that issue. we are talking to some of the biggest stars of the dnc this week and in 20 minutes sandra fluke will join me, the georgetown graduate who rush limbaugh called a slut after she spoke in front of congress about health care contraception, and she is set to speak in front of the dnc about health care issues as well. we will be joined also by the dnc keynote speaker julian
castro, and also the mayor antonio villaraigosa of los angeles will gavel in the proceedings. and if you would like to know what it is like to experience the dnc inside tomorrow at noon join any colleague wolf blitzer and the cnn political team online for cnn election round table and submit your questions and get answers in real time in the live chat. log into cnn.com/roundtable. here are stories we are working on at this house. the president says he does not socialize enough with members of congress, but president obama defends himself saying that family comes first. >> at 6:30 i want to be at the dinner table with our kids and helping with the homework. that is interpreted sometime as me not wanting to be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. paul ryan plans to ask voters today, are you better off than four years ago? we are going to listen in on the
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i'm suzanne malveaux and we are in charlotte, north carolina, today where we put the focus of the national politics at the democratic national convention. the president facing criticism from both sides of the aisle for not achieving more bipartisanship in the first term and maybe not doing enough to promote the party and the base. well, the president sat down with cnn's jessica yellin for an exclusive interview about some of those questions. >> in my interview with president obama, i talked to him about why he hasn't built more relationships with some of the washington insiders who could have helped get his agenda through, and here is what he said. >> sometimes, michelle and i not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool. it actually has more to do with us being parents. when we are in town here in washington, in the evenings,
6:30 we want to be at the dinner table with our kids, and i want to be helping with the homework. that is sometimes interpreted as, me not wanting to, you know, be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. it has more to do with the fact of the stage we are at in our lives. >> if you are re-elected the girls may have their own weekend plans and nopt wanting to hang out with mom and dad. >> yes, it has already started to happen. >> will you do more outreach, or back slapping, with members of congress? >> my hope is getting past this election, people will have an opportunity to maybe step back and say, you know what, the differences that divide us are not as important as the common bonds we have as americans, and some of that, i'm sure will require additional effort on my part and hopefully we will see more effort on the other side as well. >> so when the documentary, we delve more deeply into all of
the issues, both the president's family life and some of these issues of partisanship in washington, and who shoulders responsibibility for it. and we talk to some of the president's closest aides including secretary clinton and his personal s a sassistant reg love and former chief of staff rahm emanuel and the opposition leader speaker john boehner and a lot of other people. i hope you'll watch. >> we will watch. you can watch "obama revealed, the man, the president" tonight on cnn at 8:00 p.m. and the party just beginning here in charlotte at the carolina fest. [ female announcer ] quaker yogurt granola bars.
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>> hey, suzanne, i think that i can hear you pretty well. look, this celebration was supposed to start of highlight inclusiveness if you will. the democrats wanted to have a big party in the center of town and invite everybody from charlotte who wanted to come, and here you are in the center of town, and a good idea, right? well, if you think about it though, it is a little interesting, because north carolina is such a right to work state, and having this party on labor day by the party that represents, you know, the president and labor is so, such a supporter of the president, we asked a few people about that, and some union members tell us that they liked the idea and perhaps it is just an excuse, but they say they liked the idea, because it highlights the issue of north carolina and its traditional opposition to organized labor, at least the way they explain it, suzanne. >> joe, i know that there are a
lot of musical selections and fun going on and you were there and you used to cover north carolina back in the day as a local news, and yesterday protests and the charlotte occupy folks who were out in pretty strong number, and they essentially were going up against the fact that you've got this is a hometown of bank of ameri america, wells fargo, and big bank town they are in the middle of and they are not happy with how things are going with the banks. can you explain what was actually taking place. >> yeah, i have to tell you that the people i talked to and i marched yesterday with those occupy people, and others. they are walking a line, too, sort of a balance, if you will politically, and what they told me was that they actually lost a lot of people in that march, because people said they didn't want to be perceived as demonstrating against president obama. as you said though, the key thing is that charlotte is a financial center and so many banks here, and bank of america
of course right behind me, and the headquarters right here in sh charlotte, north carolina, and occupy is very accustomed to demonstrating against the banks in the city. and they say that, you know, so what if the president's convention is here, suzanne. >> and it is kind of ironic, when you think about it, too, joe, because the president will accept the nomination in a bank of america stadium there, so there is a remind over the relationship with those banks. thank you, joe. appreciate it. rush limbaugh once called this college student a slut and now she is speaking at the democratic national convention. i want to speak to sandra fluke and her thoughts on abortion rights. as a police chief, i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make a difference, you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door.
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the law school graduate once called a slut by rush limbaugh is the now campaigning for president obama and scheduled to speak at the dnc on wednesday. sandra fluke testified before congress in february to talk about the difficulty women face affording contraception like birth control. she was originally denied the opportunity to testify and she made big headlines when talk show host rush limbaugh said this. >> what does it say about the college coed susan fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? makes her a prostitute. she wants to be paid to have sex. >> president obama called her after that to give her his support. remember, his health care policy requires that most employers to provide contraception coverage free of charge and religious
institutions don't have to, but their insurance companies do, and mitt romney has sharply criticized the president over this, and i want to bring in sandra who is with us now. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. it is a great grill. [ laughter ] >> i have to say that i was surprised when i started getting your e-mails, because i know that a lot of journalists get e-mails from both sides, and it was clear at one point that you had started to become a part of the obama campaign. >> right. >> and first of all, how did that happen? how did you come to accept that ro role? >> well, you know, actually when all of this started happening in the spring and the testimony and the things that you were referring to, i originally thought that, you know, i should stay neutral and just talk about which policies i cared about in terms of things like fair pay or the contraception policy and stay out of the elected politics side of it, but honestly, it really just began feeling more and more like mr. romney was not speaking to young people like me and women like me, so i felt that the biggest way to have a difference and make a difference on the policies that i cared
about was to support the president. >> have you ever been political before or this was your first foray into politics? >> in terms of electoral politics, this is the first f for foray. i have been involved in issues, but not electoral politics. >> and this is a huge stage for you, and you have gotten a lot of attention. but when you were a speaker in the dnc and in the evening prime time wednesday, that is a big deal. what do you want to convey? what do you hope to give that what is the takeaway here? >> well, i want to make sure that people have information so that they understand that the choice that they are making between mr. romney and mr. ryan and mr. obama and vice president biden, and that is what i am hoping to convey, what are the differences of the policies and the vision, and especially how they see women's roles going forward. >> some people think this is manufactured this idea that there is some war on women, that the republicans are engaged in, sorry, that ann romney talked
about it, the wife of mitt romney and other people who admit, republican strategists who admit, you know, there is a political calculation here to get the women on the side, and we need women on our side, and this is a way to do it. do you ever fear that you are maybe a part of something that is a political manipulation? >> well, i can't control what other people think or say about me in my role. but what i look at is the record that we have seen especially the last two years in the house of representatives. you know, the first bill that they voted on was to defund planned parenthood and we have a seen a staggering number of bills targeting women's health and not in a positive way, so however it is characterized, that is quantitatively true that is what we are seeing in congress and in legislatures across the country, and i think that women are responding to that and feeling that their representatives are not looking at the policies that they are concerned about. >> and do you think it is an overstatement to say it is a war on women? >> well, it is not the language that i use. i prefer to stick to saying, you
know, what is being, what is occurring and what are the pieces of legislation and we are seeing the legislation that tries to limit which types of rape survivors can have access to the care they need, and to de-fund planned parenthood and of course the legislation around contracepti contraception, and to allow the employers to make choices about which benefits insurance coverages and all of these really do feel like they are targeting women's health. >> are you nervous? >> of course. >> are you doing anything special to prepare? >> practicing, i guess. >> practice, practice, practice. >> and not thinking about it at all. >> just don't think of all of the people watching, and it will help. that is a trick i use, really. >> thank you. thanks for having me. >> democrats have criticized mitt romney for not mentioning afghanistan at all in his speech, but now we learn that the u.s. military has suspended the training of afghan police
president obama will visit louisiana later today to survey the damage from hurricane isaac. nearly a week after the storm slammed into the gulf coast, the effect is still being felt today, and the governor says that more than 3,500 people remain in shelters and more flooding is on the horizon. this is the pearl river expected to crest five feet above flood stage which is posing a threat to several thousand homes. in pakistan, a car filled with explosives slammed into a u.s. consulate vehicle. triggering a raging fire, and now the blast ripped through part of an suv killing two pakistanis and wounding 25 other s, including two u.s. consulars, and this took place in peshawar which is 125 miles from pakistan's capital islamabad. it is a setback for forces in afghanistan. some of the training of the local afghan forces are put on
hold. in the last year members of the afghan security troops or insurgents disguised as afghan police have killed more than 40 nato troops. authorities are re-dog the background checks and reinterviewing candidates. i want to bring in cnn contributor james "spider" marks, and thank you, general, for joining us. it was a year to today where when i was invited to go embedded to have the military troops show us how they train the afghan soldiers to become police, and now you have them stopping, and suspending the training mission. this is what is key and critical for us to get out of the country in the first place. what does this mean? >> well, suzanne, the real challenge is that with the suspension, we don't know how long it is going to be. and will the united states and the remainder of the nato forces will be able to achieve the right numbers of afghan security
forces in the time that is allotted in order to facilitate that departure as you indicated. so the key question is, does this now put the u.s. departure on to a different time line and that is more of a political discussion than it does the realities on the ground. as you well know, and you have been embedded with these guys before. >> the one thing that they kept talking about is that they complained that the afghans were abandoning their posts, and they complained that they weren't reliable. that, these were, you know, uneducated, but they did not say, these guys are attacking us. and now you have that kind of lack of trust between the two individuals and how do you ever get that back? >> well, you truly have to keep working at it. you are absolutely spot-on. you can get it back. it can be reclaimed, the issue becomes one of trust and counter intuitively what is happening is that through the implementation of some of the new changes is
u.s. and nato forces are being separated on the bases from their afghan counterparts. truly in order to build a team, you want to keep the folks together as much as possible. but there has to be some level of trust that's reintroduced, and you are going to have to do that overtime and the key thing is to get after those that are attacking the green-on-blue attacks and identify them and scrape those individuals away and get them out of the formation, and the short answer is yes. it is going to take a lot of deliberate steps, but the key thing is that it puts it on a far greater time line to reach the level of readiness that the united states would prefer to have before they depart. >> well, let e's talk about tha time line, because we are talking about the end of 2014, and this is the goal for the u.s. forces, for allied forces to be out of there and for the afghans to have security to take control over their own security, and how do you do something like that? how do you train these guys and
recheck them and make shure the re-establish the trust and then leave within that period of time? >> yeah, well, mission one in all of this, suzanne, is to make sure that you have got a handle on those that are already a part of the afghan security forces so you have to go back and check what is called the digital footprint and they are starting to build a database of all of the individuals, the afghans that are now a part of the security forces so, you go back to check that database and make sure it is accurate, and that in fact, you can evaluate the veracity of each individual which is critical, because you have the folks who wander on the bases and if they are not badged or verified, they now are suspect, and you have to isz late them and move them away. but what nato is trying to do is that by 2015, one year after their departure, they have established a goal of approximately 300,000 security forces that have been trained. this clearly shows you that this suspension puts that on to a different time frame.
it is something that is going to have to be evaluated come the time when the united states has decided or at least has declared that it is going to depart afghanistan. >> all right. general "spider" marks, thank you very much and appreciate your perspective as always. republicans keep asking, are you bet ter off four years ago when president obama was elected? well, the state of the jobs we will look at as well as homes up next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. covering 2,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. at&t. rethink possible.
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welcome to charlotte, north carolina, i'm suzanne malveaux and today we turn to politics and the democratic national convention which kicks off tomorrow. it may be the most asked question of the presidential campaign, are you better off than you were four years ago? well, vice president biden was in detroit today to speak to the afl-cio rally today and he answered the question. >> do you want to know if we are better off? well, i have a better bumper sticker to you. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. >> we are waiting to hear from the vice presidential candidate paul ryan and he is giving a speech in greenville, north carolina's university and answer the question, are we better off, and we will bring it to you as soon as it starts. while the democrats get their
party starts, we have new numbers from the political party of mitt romney. and paul steinhauser has the latest numbers. you have them right there. right on the fingertips. >> you are right, suzanne, did mitt romney get a bounce from the convention last week in tampa. and this morning some of the polling came out from gallup, and they are first to ask are you more or less likely to vote for mitt romney based on what you saw at the convention. americans are divided. 40% say more likely and 38% which is divided say less likely and 22% say, guess, what made no difference or unsure. the other question they asked about is the big speech, the nomination address and how do you rate it? well, 38% said excellenter ogood. and 21% said okay. and 16% said poor or terrible and one in four said they didn't see it at all so they cannot answer the question. how does that rate with the past convention speeches? a little lower, suzanne. >> it did nod wow a lot of people? >> well, we are going to be trying to answer the question
throughout the week. >> and i am sure we will. we saw the president in toledo, ohio today, and they are out with a new ad hitting romney on the taxes. tell us about what the point of that is? >> it is all about the middle-class and the ad is an appetizer for what you will hear at the convention that the romney r romney/ryan ticket are not for the middle class, but obama/biden is. take a look at the ad. >> the middle-class is carrying a heavy load under the romney plan, and the average family will pay up to $2,000 more in taxes and at the same time giving multimillionaires like himself a $250,000 tax cut. so romney hits the middle class harder and gives the millionaires a bigger break. is that the way forward for america? >> that ad starting to play in the battleground states and the romney campaign pushing back saying that the romney plan would not raise the middle class taxes and both sides are arguing
over tr middle-class taxes and the middle-class, because they will decide who wins or loses the election. >> and you have paul ryan who is also comcampaigning here trying to steal some thunder from the dnc before they officially start, but the message and the question of are we better off than we were four years ago is this something resonating with the people, and whether it is democrats tor republican or th gaining steam? it is age-old question in the past, and that is why they, the romney campaign think they have the upperhand. and you played the sound bite from joe biden in the sound bite, it is a big argument over the past few days. and you will hear ryan ask the same in greenville, north carolina, and the romney will continue to say what they have to as long as it has mileage. we had a poll last week that showed them dead even and a brand new poll from elan university conducted before and during the the convention indicated romney with a
four-point lead, but that is still in the sampling error, so it is still tied up. >> and do you believe that both sides are responding to on the debate floor? >> well, the democratic convention goal is to reshape the debate. we were just talking to senior obama candidate officials who belief they will get the message out effectively, and stay tuned, because we will find out. >> it is just the beginning. thank you, paul. we will have more after a quick break. ♪
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medical news now with ten people dead from the legionnaires' disease outbreak from quebec. the provincial government says that there are ten cases in quebec city and they are trying to pinpoint the source of the outbreak, but looking to the cooling systems of the city that might have been visited by the victim victims. of course, we are also looking at another story of love handles dangerous to your health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day according to new research from the center of disease control and prevention, and european cardiologists who focus on folks who have the highest amount of fat in the midsection and they found if they are not overweight, they have a higher rate of dying from heart disease. we are here in charlotte,
north carolina, today and we will turn our focus to the politics and the democratic national convention which kicks off officially tomorrow. no doubt that the e kconomy and the jobs and the biggest challenges that the president is facing in the campaign and mitt romney trying to give new life to the slogan made famous by ronald reagan back in the '80 r. >> this president can ask us to be patient. this president can tell us the next four years will get it right, but this president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office. >> question, are americans really better off than they were four years ago? the numbers tell the story. >> let's start with jobs, the unemployment rate. 7.8% when the president took off. it spiked to 10% and is now back down. both the numbers are too high both mean you feel uncomfortable but it's an improvement from the worst levels right after the
great recession. this is how job growth looks. 818,000 jobs were lost and this loss of jobs were serious and dangerous. tried to get some momentum here and it's been about two years of steady but not spectacular jobs growth. home prices, a really important gauge for how you feel. there was a double dip lower in home prices. look here, you have stabilization when the president took office. the median price of a home $175,000. it's now up about 185,000. that double dip in home prices looks like it's over and the housing market while not robust is stabilizing. finally, let's talk about our national debt because you heard a lot about this from the republicans last week. this is the debt as a size of our economy. it was 54% of our economy when
the president took office. as we tried to get out of that horrible crisis the spending exploded. by 2012, 72.5%. a lot of different reasons there but the biggest driver was tax cuts. lots and lots of tax cuts that began back in 2001 which are now the bush-obama tax cuts. republican vice presidential nominee paul ryan speaking at a campaign event in greenville, north carolina. this is at east carolina university. he's expected to focus on this question, are we better off than four years ago? >> fewer jobs. the unemployment rate in north carolina is 9.6%. in 1980 under jimny carter 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. last year under president obama's failed leadership, 1.4
million businesses filed for bankruptcy. we have a very clear choice. take a look at people that are having a hard time making their mortgage payments. 77,000 delinquent mortgages by the time jimmy carter left office. under president obama, three million. when you take a look at what we're going hear in charlotte today, the president can say a lot of thinks, and he will, but he can't tell you that you're better off. simply put, the jimmy carter looked like the good old days compared to where we are right now. that's why we have a very crystal clear choice. we can either choose to stay in the path that we're on, a path of debt, a path of doubt and decline, a path of joblessness
or we can get things turned around and elect rom the next president of the united states and get america back on track. that's what we'll do. i love you too, man. after four years of getting the run around it's time for the american turn around. the man for that job is mitt romney. what is missing is leadership. leadership to see the problem and fix the problem. mitt romney is the kind of person who's entire life story tells us this is the kind of leader we need. very few times before have i seen a situation where the man and the moment meet so perfectly. look at what the this man has done. look at the beautiful family
he's raised. look at the communities he's supported. look at the tens of thousands of jobs he helped create. remember the olympics back in the late 1990s when they were in salt lake. remember the story of corruption, of bloated wasteful spending, sounds familiar today, doesn't it? what did they do? is in utah they asked a man in massachusetts to come and save the olympics. he moved there for three years. he saved the olympics. he made it an american success story and we're all proud and better for it. >> the stakes couldn't be higher. the democrats calling on hollywood star power to get the vote out. ♪ ♪
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i was saying now what an example. he's married to a republican. that's a great example for our country. we're married to each other. we're in on this. how do we have a good marriage? how do we work on what we need to work on? >> i think that's what everybody wants to know. you co-starred with thunder bolt and live foot. what did you think of the chair routine at the rnc? >> i didn't see thunder bolt's performance. >> what did you think? >> i'm going to go look at it before i go back to my room. i'm going to check out clint's performance. bill maher gave it a rave. >> do you think it was appropriate? it looked a little bizarre. >> i didn't see it. i had this vision of obama doing this little thing with a puppet of clint and doing a rebuttal.
i don't know if that will happen or not. that's where my mind went. >> "cnn newsroom" continues right now with brooke baldwin. thank you so much. much more on what's happening in charlotte today. the rest of the week and on the campaign trail. i want to begin with this. i want to begin with the urgent situation inside syria. syrians are reeling from the deadliest in the entire 18-month uprising. the body count hard to comprehend. friday, 112 people killed across syria including several children. saturday death toll up to 162 with the most deaths in the suburbs right around damascus. sunday, that number 144 killed including what activists are calling a massacre in the small town in the homa province. the death toll from the week 1600 people. 1600 people this week killed in syria alone. august was the deadliest month
since the uprising began. close to 5,000 people were killed across syria last month. just today cnn learned cia director david petraeus is discussing regional developments there. now this, new video. opposition forces say this is a plane dropping a bomb. 25 people killed there. more destruction. car bomb ripping through a mainly christian suburb of damasc damascus. opposition report 105 people killed around the country today. documenting all these death s a gruesome and heavy hearted task. one man takes upon himself each and every day before we show this piece i just have to warn you the images are
disturbing and if you have little ones in the room get them out now. this piece is from a freelance journalist who spent time in the town from the border of lebanon. arwa shares his chilling and emotional story. >> reporter: every night he scrolls through the video he shot reviewing scenes he wishes he never witnessed. he simply can't stop, can't let go, can't give up. for the past 18 months he's documented nearly every single death. a town of some 50,000 before the violence started. name, date, location. more than 400 victims and
counting. often they are his neighbors, friends, relatives, people he would see around town, and once he pointed the camera at his brother's corpse. >> i start to shout my brother, my brother. doctor, my brother. but after, normal. i am sad also the first and angry. >> reporter: the 37-year-old once own add furniture shop. now he's part of a small team of media activists. filming and posting online the horrific videos that have come
to symbolize the uprising. most of the residents have fled. the indiscriminant shelling still takes it toll on the few who remain. those who have nowhere else to go. this 8-year-old girl was killed by a mortar round that hit her home. there was nothing to medical team could do but try to hide the wound to spare her mother the anguish. she collapsed when she hears the news. m at times he tries to console families reassuring this woman her son is going to be okay and he will survive the wounds to his leg. occasionally he hands oerve the camera so he can help but too often there is nothing he can do
but film. much lies in ruins similar to what we see across syria. its people resigned to their faith knowing they are on their own. the hospital regularly targeted is trying to build up its defenses. this man who works in construction is building a bunker for his family. his children take a quick peek into the darkness below. perhaps this will save them. perhaps it will be their grave. his younger brother is now a rebel fighter. he was a mechanic who wanted to be a dee jjay. he plays music as they recall the fate of one of their friends. detained by syrian security forces and retained to them with his eyes gouged out. >> they take the eyes.
why? i go do bashar and throw bashar by this one. too much dangerous here in syria with camera. and i throw it. >> arwa just the image of the mother collapsing over her 8-year-old daughter. i'm left wondering watching this piece why this man, you mentioned it's a macabre task. why is he film all these bodies? >> reporter: well, he has absolutely no other choice. not only does he fundamentally believe it's his duty to keep documenting the atrocities that are being carried out in this one part of the country but also
because of the violence because he's seen so much death. it's the only way he can keep coping. it gives him his sense of purpose and the sense his life is not going to end up wasted because he's doing something for this revolution. it gives you insight into the psychological state of not just his but so many others. >> i want talking to a time magazine correspondent and she wrote this piece about how the syrian rebels are being handed these cameras from some ngos in europe and the united states and saying it feels like almost a weapon of war. she was calling them cyber warriors. the fact they're able to film and get the message out. compare this to other conflicts you've covered and the role of the camera. >> reporter: i don't think we have seen the role of the camera and especially the role of the camera in the hands of activists and then their ability to post the videos to youtube utilized
in such way of the syrian revolution since it began 18 months ago. if we did not have the videos posted or these activists risking their lives every single day, we would not have the remotest idea of what was taking place inside syria because from the get-go the government has made it difficult for journalists to access these areas. that's one of the main reasons propelling these activists to keep ongoing out there, risking their lives every single day to keep that spotlight shining on what is happening to them, happening in their own very streets. that's why they are so frustrated because they say this is not a case where the world can say we didn't know what was going on. people have known what has been happening in syria from the onset, and that is why they can't comprehend how it is that there is still no action being taken at the international level to bring about an end to it. >> 18 months and counting.
we rely on crews such as yours and these remembers to keep shining that spotlight. thank you so much. also today, two americans among those injured in an earth shaking blast. this is near the u.n. con sue late building. a suicide bomber crash into the building. the cars were engulfed in flames and people could be seen carrying away the wounded following that blast. 25 others were injured. more news developing here on this monday. roll it. as democrats flock to charlotte, a lot of us today over this president and this one including what happened during an interesting round of gulf. i'm brook bald be baldwin, the now. one of america's most popular landmarks warns of a deadly out break. he's known as the speed
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all right. before we land the week over to the democrats, you know it's their convention now. let's dot the final i on the republicans. did romney get a bounce from tampa? take a look at romney. a little r and r in new hampshire today. he's got a lake home there. romney at the helm of a nice little boat. we saw his wife take off on a jet ski. did romney get a bounce from tampa? answer, kind . but another way not really. 40% of those questioned for this poll say they are likely now to vote for mitt romney than they were before the convention but 38% said they are less likely. pretty much a wash for mitt romney this week. he focused on debate preparations up there in new
hampshire. president obama in toledo. he spoke within the last hour and here is what he thought. >> despite all the challenges that we face in this new century, we saw three straight days of an agenda out of the last century. it was a rerun. you might as well watched it on black and white tv with some rabbit ears on there. should have been on nick at nite. >> obama is to arrive at his party's convention on wednesday. with me there already in charlotte is ryan. i read your piece. it's called let's befriends. you're writing about bill clinton this week. he's got this plum speaking gig on wednesday.
what can he do for barack obama and why has obama waited so long to embrace him? >> reporter: well, what he can do is bill clinton is one of the only national politicians who actually has high approval ratings. out of office. his approval ratings have shot up sometimes go into the 60s. it's kind of a no brainer for the obama campaign to embrace clinton. for obama himself to nurture this relationship a little more than he had in his first couple of years and get bill clinton out there working to re-elect obama. he's got a spot that's very unusual. the night before is supposed to go to the vice president. they've elevated clinton to a level unheard of for an ex-president.
george w. bush didn't go to that convention. you look at jimmy carter, he hasn't had much of a role. they have fully embracing him. >> on the embracing point, you mentioned through 2008 and 2009 obama rarely contacted clinton. a decision that the clinton circle attributes to obama's loner personality. is it really not his style to reach out in the first place? >> reporter: you hear this a lot. i talk to a lot of people on both sides and it's a complicated relationship. you don't hear anyone trying to make the case to spin you that these guys are bffs. they have become great friends. it's not the case. on the clinton side there's a bit of a sense of being wounded by this but also chalking it up to that's just who obama is. he's sort of a loner. he doesn't reach out to leaders in congress. he has the friends that he does have were his friends before he
got to the white house. we're not taking it too personally. that's the kind of stuff you pick up when you start asking folks on each side. >> it sort of sounds like it was team obama reaches out to team clinton, can you help us out. team clinton said slow your roll. let's play golf first. >> reporter: this is how it came about. at first they wanted clinton to do some campaign events in florida. clinton's top guy said just like you said, we need to build a relationship here. we need to build something. how about getting them out on the golf course. 12 hours later barack obama called clinton and said let's play golf. they haven't played since then but that got things started off. it was one other issue. bill clinton's side said we'll do everything you want but you need to retire hillary clinton's campaign debt from 2008.
that's something you promised to do and there's still quarter of a million dollars left. please do it. the obama camp said we'll do it. the campaign debt is now all retired so now clinton is all in. >> we'll look for him speaking wednesday night. top democrats have started convention week taking turns fumabling this question. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> a lot of talk today about the democrats being unable to answer yes. we just got an answer from joe biden saying you bet we are. general motors alive and bin laden is dead. that's what the vice president just said. i'm woerndsing is there a downside for the republicans asking the question especially with we just heard the sound of president obama accusing them of living in the past. >> reporter: it's almost like a trick question for the democrats.
on the one hand president obama doesn't want to argue that things are so great, but on the other hand he does want to point out that if he hasn't taken the steps he took on the stimulus and other things, things would have been worse. it's a very delicate argument. remember when he said the private sector is doing fine, he got hammered for days. they can't be too hot and they can't be too cold on how things are. they've yet to strike the right balance. one of the things they are doing is saying if you give me four more years i'm going to go back to the policies of bill clinton because things were pretty good under clinton. that's a very unusual strategy. he's not talking about your own time in officeincumbent but your predecessor. >> can grongrats on the piece.
do you want to know what it's like to experience the dnc on the inside? tomorrow you can join wolf blitzer for the cnn roundtable. you can submit your questions and get answers in realtime. log in and go to cnn.com/roundtable. a serial killer on death row is allowed to leave his cell and take police on a field trip. what they find is not only chilling but could answer a huge unsolved mystery. and commitment is not limited to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. with our award winning apps that allow you to transfer funds, pay bills or manage your finances anywhere, anytime. so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different.
a death row killer gets out of prison but only for this short period of time. california investigators took wesley sherman briefly off death row so he could lead them to more victims of speed freak killers. the name he earned while high on meth. two sundays ago he brought detectives to four wells each about 45 feet deep near his family's property in the town of linden. ktxl reports investigators found human skulls, bones and jewelry.
this is time number two he's helped find the bodies. be first time he sat down in prison and drew up a map. his revolutions started with the boun hunters took up the offer after sitting silent for 11 years. he would only talk for a price for $33,000. i spoke with that bounty hunter this past february. >> i told him i'd pay him $33,000 if he gave me two bodies and any other bodies after that we'd negotiate a figure on them. he's not going anywhere. >> how much do you get? >> i don't get anything. there's no rewards on these. >> why do this? >> because nobody else can do it. >> i want to go to criminal defense attorney ann brimner. how unusual is this for a death row inmate in the middle of the night to get up and get out and help investigators find bodies? >> well, i think it's the only
time i could find. they had to pass a law for it to occur. it's so unusual and you see it before the fact in death penalty cases where they say help us find the bodies. case up here where that person got life instead of death but once they are on death row it doesn't happen. >> i understand he was able to leave his cell only after a change in the law in california. >> there's really, furlough and death row are mutually exclusive terms. you can't be furloughed or be let out for any reason. an assembly person passed a law to say in this case you can do it because he has information can lead to closure for a lot of victim families the law passed. he helped the police and there's been bones, bodies found.
>> the guy is on death row. this local affiliate he's led detectives to five more bodies and even a fetus. the fact he's on death row he wouldn't be facing more charges based upon extra bodies found? >> he's made a quote where he said i'd rather be paid than bargain about the death penalty. it's the money that he wants. could he face more charges if there's no plea deal in the works, a deal worked out in advance with the police saying i'll lead you to bodies if you don't charge me then he could. i don't know why he would do that. he's already facing death. i think the appeals are exhausted. >> i talked to one of the victims parents and they said they would rather closure sfrn it costs a little bit. thank you very much. >> yes. thank you. cashing in during the dnc.
hotels in charlotte are raising prices ahead of this week's convention. the problem, it's effecting the city's homeless population. ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating?
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right, but i don't look like that. who can i write a letter to about this? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. democrats are gearing up for their convention this week planning all types of parties and the big pitch. why folks in november should be voting for barack obama. not everyone in charlotte is thrilled about this. joe johns looks at how it's affecting the city's homeless population. >> reporter: here in charlotte the sunset inn offers the homeless rooms for $35 a night. residents roslyn says she can't afford it. >> i think it's ridiculous.
what can i do about it? >> reporter: for the past two months she's been living in one of these small rooms with six other people including her three kids. now she is forced to move out at a time when school is just starting. >> are your kids school age? >> one is. >> how are you going to work that? >> i have no clue. i don't know. i'm just playing it day by day. i know it's not smart. i got to do what i got to do. >> reporter: the manager says he can't turn down the chance to turn in while prices are high. >> everybody's raising the price up so why not me. it's just like we give them reasonable price, reasonable rates. if they could afford it, their could stay. >> i do get frustrated from a personal level becausei don't feel that people should have a life that doesn't have dignity. >> reporter: during the dnc carla will help find beds for
homeless families. it's part of a network of charities that's been planning for this for weeks. >> we hope to have eight families here. >> reporter: the charities within the network including the urban ministry center try to work together because it's so hard to predict how many beds they will need. >> we don't know number which is is part of our challenge. we're preparing as if there might be hundreds. we're hoping there will be very few, in any. >> reporter: it's made more difficult by the increase in the number of homeless families which has exploded. it wasn't up 36% in 2010. another 21% in 2011. moving from place to place takes a big toll on families with children. >> it's more than just inconvenient. most don't have their own transportation and in that room they probably have everything they own in the world. where are they going? how will they move that stuff and where will that stuff be that it stays safe? >> reporter: if the motels drop their prices right after the convention ends families could
move in next week but darren ash says that's still doesn't fix the real problem. >> this was just a small blip on the screen compared to the bigger issue we're facing here. this democratic national convention is not really a huge deal for us. we're preparing for the overflow but the bigger issue is that our spike in family homelessness caught us off guard in this city. >> reporter: joe johns, cnn, charlotte, north carolina. a stolen u haul truck that was packed with equipment for joe bidens event was found. agents have an assessing the contents to make sure the equipment was accounted for. the union rally mr. biden spoke at went off without a hitch. accusation offense a family frat house inside homeland security, and now someone is
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#. imagine this flying from new york to tokyo in a cool four hours. it sounds impossible until you've seen this. this aircraft resembles a four-point ninja star. chad meyers is here with a look at this thing. it's a good day when chad meyers brings props. >> i have props. when you take the air and fly it over the wing of an aircraft, the aircraft goes up. the more it's tilted, the more it goes up. that's why there's flaps. the faster it goes on top, the lower the air pressure. this is very cool. >> this is very cool. >> we have talked about these planes that go mach 99 and they crash. this is not that. this is not a 5.something billion dollar plane.
this is a hundred thousands dollars that nasa has given them to see if they can get the plane to rotate in midair and turn it into a fuselage. >> that seems like chump change. this is going to be the front of the airplane. this is going to be the wing, the big one. that's going to take the plane off. when the plane gets up into space, subsonic, it's going to turn. the wing is going to become the fuselage. this little wing is not going to be cutting much air. this wing will fly through the air with the greatest of ease and it's going to turn this thing into a supersonic airplane. >> now this is something that is -- >> flies like this. >> this is something that our great, great, great, great, great grand kids might appreciate. this has to be so far off in the future. >> they built the pyramids 5,000
years ago. they can build this. you lose the drag of a big wing. you make the big wing into the fuselage where people will sit. that would still be the lift. >> would you go tokyo new york four hours? >> not the first flight. >> that's what i thought. young, hip, trendy and white. a black employee speaks out after being fired frd ed from ar teen clothing store. [ hikers whispering ] ...that's not yours. [ goat bleats ] na, na, na -- no! [ male announcer ] now you can take a photo right from video, so you'll never miss the perfect shot. [ hikers laughing, commenting ] at&t introduces the htc one x. now $99.99. rethink possible.
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fired from her job and she says it's because she's black. nicole said she was working at wet seal and she was fired from her store in pennsylvania because she did not fit an image. ♪ >> reporter: young, hip and trendy. this is the image of teen retailer wet seal. an image that nicole did not fit at least that's what she said management made clear to her. >> a brand image is one thing but being terminated because you're african-american is totally different.
>> reporter: fired because she's black. in 2008 she was manager at the wet seal mall of this store. a mall where there are more black customers. she said she did so well at her job that the district manager promoted her to a new store in a higher end mall, the king of prussia. most of the customers there are white. the vice president came to inspect the store that's when she heard this. >> she went to my district manager and said that's the store manager. i wanted swung with blonde hair and blue eyes. >> reporter: four days later she was fired. she said her replacement was a white manager with less experience and poor performance record that paid more. there's been cases like this before but what makes this one so different is that lawyers say they can trace the discrimination to a vice president at wet seal with an e-mail. the e-mail was forwarded to
kogdale. it's from the same president that said she wanted a blonde manager with blue eyes. the v.p. said needy versety. african-american dominate huge issue. >> when you read that, what did you think? >> i thought this is the essential smoking gun. >> reporter: she represents two other manager who were fired, denied pay raises as part of an unwritten but enforce corporate policy. the e-mail says it's a window into a ugly secret of retail. >> in retail in particularly people are accustomed to making judgments about people based on their looks. i think they lose track of the fact that under the law you may not make decisions on employees based on their race. >> reporter: they're asking to declare this a class action
lawsuit on behalf of 250 current and past black managers. wet seal would not speak on camera but said we do not chris criminate on the base of race or any other category. we're confident that the public and our customers will see that african-americans are well respected and value members of our employee base including our management. wet seal's image includes an african-american model. like much of fashion it's just an image. gary tuckman spoke with her and asked her about wh she says the alleged discrimination goes just beyond her store. >> it's not just me. many african-americans all across the country that worked for this company and basically we just didn't fit the brand
image. if you look at that same e-mail, you'll see other problems in other stores. >> again, wet seal says they do not discriminate on the basis of race and african-americans are well represented within their company. police are seen shooting this group of minors lined up. for some reason their fellow miners are charged here. at this hour a major development in this story. stay here. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco. exclusive to the military,
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at this hour a number of miners in south africa are walking out of detention after public fury over their arrest. 270 of them were charged with murder for the august 16th of their own colleagues who were protesting in this labor dispute. we thought it was important to remind you why people are so enraged by showing the video that was taken that day. warning, it's incredibly graphic and more disturbing knowing that when the guns went quiet, 34 miners were dead. warning, the video should not be seen by young kids. 34 miners killed. despite the fact that you're seeing the officers holding the
guns here, the regional prosecutor said evidence showed some miners were responsible for the murders. then this weekend, the national prosecuting authority stepped in overturning the arrests, at least for now. some of the miners were released. >> reporter: it's a process that we expect to continue into the night. the first group of miners have already been inside the court behind me and had physical addresses verified and then they were let go, walked out of the gates of the court as free men. many of them elated singing songs of jubilation. they also spoke to us about how they were treated by the police in custody. some complained they were assaulted by the police. we've heard media reports of miners being tortured and confessions being tortured out of them by police. the police watchdog here in
south africa is investigating all of those charges. we also managed to speak to some family members wh were meeting their loved ones here and some pretty distraught family members who still do not know where their loved ones are. the last time they saw them is when they left for that protest on the 16th of august which ended in bloodshed. thank you. also there was a violent confrontation between police and former authorities at a different mine in south africa, a different gold mine. four were hurt. one critically. they used ti ed tear gas and ru bullets. the training of afghan police recruits has been suspended. more than 40 nato members have been killed.
14 were killed in august alone. and as democrats land in charlotte, they race for the swing state. the race got even closer. why mitt romney is leading the president in one poll. one guy says women in homeland security humiliated men and made the office more like a frat house. this scandal just took a whole new turn. d uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that werheavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better.
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a federal official has resigned being accused of pushing a frat house. she says the alleges are lies. she feels compelled to leave her job at i.c.e. barr served as chief of staff for the director there. this lawsuit charges the office of not only discrimination and retaliation even making up affairs. let me bring in deb here. the big if, if these accusations are false why would she leave? >> pretty much it boils down to a couple of things. the official reason she says she is leaving is because she doesn't want the allegations against her to hurt i.c.e.'s rep station or distract from the mission. she's calling the allegations unfounded and without any merit.
she says she decided to resign two weeks after putting herself on unpaid leave to protect the agency. she is, keep in mind, a political appointee who worked as chief of staff for janet napolitano. she came to washington, d.c. as part of the team. the ranking republican says these resignations raise serious questions about the management practices and the personnel policies at dhs, something he and his staff are planning to take a look into. >> what does the lawsuit say against barr and her former boss who oversees i.c.e.? >> here is what's interesting. the lawsuit is accusing bar of creating a sexually charged work environment. promoting those who played along. discriminating and retaliating against those who refused. it was brought by the head of new york's homeland security
administration. hayes said while he was working in washington he was pushed aside in favor of a close napolitano friend. he said rather than be offered a position with comparable pay, the agency tried to demote him and when he objected saying he was going to file a complaint barr and others retaliated against him denying him bonuses or opening investigations and spreading rumors designed to hurt his reputation and the investigations were found to be without merit pch the lawsuit also includes top officials of creating senior positions specially to accommodate personal friends. when hayes threatened this claim, susan barr told him he would be reassigned and good luck fighting it from puerto
rico. it does seem it was a pattern. she decided to step down and at least for the time being take the distraction away. >> sometimes in cases like this there are other victims, other victims who begin coming forward. is that the case here? >> well, it is. as matter of fact after several conversations, apparently a number of people have stepped forward saying they thought this sort of pattern of behavior was directed toward them but they say no, certain officials at i.c.e. did the same thing to them. these are male employees who said they were intimidated. they were humiliated. there was language that was used that was incredibly offensive and if they didn't play that game then they were either just shut out, discriminated, retaliated against and that's the big problem. there are about almost two dozen new allegations that this was a
significant problem at the agency. >> okay. thank you very much. i want to take you to california right now and chad meyers just walked over and joining me as we look at these pictures. i'm presuming they are live pictures. these are the san gabriel mo mountains and this wildfire continues to burn. >> only about 700 acres of last night but now only 5% containment if that. this is up from the morris reservoir. you're up on highway 39. about a thousands campers were evacuated. amazing pictures. i don't see any type of just containment on this. the dc-10 is called in but this will be burning out of control some time. the wind is